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'Guilty on All Counts!': In Historic Victory, Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit


'Guilty on All Counts!': In Historic Victory, Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit

Common Dreams staff

In an historic victory for those who have long sought to see agro-chemical giant Monsanto held to account for the powerful company's toxic and deadly legacy, a court in California on Friday found the corporation liable for damages suffered by a cancer patient who alleged his sickness was directly caused by exposure the glyphosate-based herbicides, including the widely used weed-killer Roundup.

As Reuter reports:

The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial.


Looks like the Monsanto acquisition is going to be a big headache for Bayer. (Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think…)


Finally some progress against Roundup. Small amounts are in so many foods. The main way to avoid it is eat foods that are organic.


I am sure the Administration will get Devos to work on this.


Now the next logical step is the removal of Roundup (and all glyphosate-containing products) from the shelves.
Does anyone think that is really going to happen?
It is standard procedure for mega-corporations to have their insurer and/or reinsurer (yes, there is such a thing) cover the majority of damage fines. Monsanto will simply write this off as the cost of doing business.


I’m sure you’re right on this case. Lawyers should be running to their courthouses to file follow-up suits totaling billions, and bankrupt these bastards.


A different take on this — who exactly is going to pay this fine (which will likely be reduced on appeal). Monsanto is not a living organism (contrary to Citizens United, Santa Fe Railroad and other “legal” decisions). So who exactly?

The corporate officers? Shareholders? Those who use the same insurance company for liability, and will probably see increased rates? Monsanto customers through increased product pricing? Taxpayers, in general? Who?


From the company that brought us Agent Orange killing an estimated 400,000 people and damaging the Vietnamese and our own vets, some I know personally. They reached a $180 million settlement with Vietnam vets over diseases like leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, and respiratory cancer. The Vietnam War ended in 1973, Roundup was released in 1974. There are approximately 700 cases filed against Monsanto worldwide. May this case set a precedent that drives a stake in the heart of the company that claims: " Monsanto is working to help farmers grow food more sustainably. Learn what we’re doing to help nourish the world."


Their insurers.


a poison pill


My understanding is that Bayer is prepared to pay $65,000,000,000 to absorb Monsanto.
They are also prepared to pay that amount in cash. Neither loans nor collateral required.


$200 million of the $289 million award is for “malice and oppression.” Methinks we (finally) have a “teachable moment.”
Why should ANY corporation so judged be allowed to carry on doing business as usual? Well, apart from the fact that we let them.
This is a perfect example of a corporation that should, at least, be nationalized. In that process, we can review its mission and in so doing, evaluate whether its product or service is doing harm, of the kind that Mr. Johnson is surely suffering.
This is as much our (collective) fault as it is Monsanto’s, inasmuch as what they do is apparently legal.


Oh, I don’t know about that. This was not a class-action lawsuit, but $289,000.00 awarded to one single individual. Insurance has its limits. Somebody out there is banging 289000 times 5000 into a calculator app and changing plans.

The question here is whether or not the judgement will be held up. If it is, Roundup is off the market, at the very least.


Since corporations are people can the rest of us expect a fine for murdering thousands of people?
For that matter, would that fine even put a dent in the profits they have made from roundup over the years?


You might be surprised at the outer limits of insurance; in my experience, they barely exist.
Reinsurers (that insure plain ol’ insurers) routinely pay the majority of these fines. The company is responsible for a sort of deductible, but that is it. The insurance industry does not want to lose the business of corporations as large as Monsanto.


Bayer kills pollinators ;like honey bees, and Monsanto kills all living things. It is the perfect merger to kill the people and the everything in the living environment. A match made in hell!


It is not OUR fault! That is absolutely an absurd claim.

It is the fault of OUR government that set up the regulatory systems of the EPA, USDA, FDA, etc to benefit the corporations they are supposed to regulate. Instead these agencies only regulate and permit (make legal) the amount of harm these corporations are allowed to legally commit. It is a SYSTEM of regulating harm, instead of STOPPING the harm that is at fault. Period!!


I agree, but the ineluctable truth here is that (in this case, at least) the promulgation of harm is legal of itself. The harm is regulated because it exists in the first place. The harm is built into the business model, ergo if it can’t do (insert x harm) harm, it can’t do business.


If the corporations actions/business model cause harm to the people or the environment, then they should NOT be allowed to do that business in the first place. Period.

A fine is not enough for carcinogenic murder. What is the price to be paid for harm that takes a human life or destroys a life giving ecosystem? Since monster corporations are not living beings, but fictitious entities created by government charter, then I say if they harm to people, communities, or the environment, then they should cease to exist at all. Their corporate charters should be revoked for crimes against humanity and the environment.


Fun fact: In the last " The Omen" movie, Damien - the spawn of satan owned a multinational corporation who’s demonic plot for world domination was the exact same thing Monsanto has been bragging about doing.